Late on Tuesday, Uber said that it had been hacked. As a result, the hackers managed to get away with 57 million accounts belonging to both riders and drivers. At the same time, the company said that the attack happened 12 months ago and it has kept the information a secret. Uber also confirmed that they had paid a ransom of $100,000. The New York Times learned about the hack from former and current employees. However, they could only speak on the condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to speak on behalf of the company. They told the Times that the deal was facilitated by the chief security officer of the company back then. However, the officer was been closely monitored by the former chief executive officer of Uber Travis Kalanick. Mr. Kalanick has since been replaced by a new CEO after he was ousted by Benchmark. Benchmark is an investment company that has substantial shares in Uber. Nonetheless, Mr. Kalanick still has a seat on the board. As for the security officer who was identified as Joe Sullivan, he was fired in June. The sources confirmed that the hack had been facilitated by two hackers who made away with names, email addresses as well as phone numbers of drivers and riders.
However, these hackers managed the feat from a server that used to be owned by a third-party. Once they had the information, they approached Uber which agreed to settle the issue for $100,000. In return, the hackers agreed to delete the numbers that implicated Uber in any way. The employees said that the issue didn’t end there as Uber managed to track down the two hackers. Once it got hold of them, it forced them to sign non-disclosure deals. To ensure that nobody knew about the payout, the company made the payout look like a bug bounty. This is a common practice in Silicon Valley where companies ask hackers to attack their systems for vulnerability. In the past two years, technology companies have experienced serious breaches. Some of the serious breaches have been reported by Yahoo in 2016 and Equifax in September 2017. The Equifax breach saw the hackers get away with critical information about the credit cards of Americans. At the moment, Uber is approximated to be worth $70 billion. The decision to pay the hackers is an indication of the lengths that Uber is willing to go to protect its business.